In this article, we’re answering “What is an EIN?” But instead of keeping you waiting, here’s the answer:
EIN is short for Employer Identification Number, which is a tax identification number issued to businesses in the United States.
In this article, we’re going to share everything you need to know about the EIN, including how to apply and we’ll also be answering common questions we receive on the topic.
This article is part of our free series on how to open a US business bank account for non-residents, which you can access right now by clicking here.
Feel free to use the table of contents to jump ahead to the sections most relevant to you.
Table of Contents
- What Is an EIN?
- How Do I Apply for an EIN?
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Do You Want Help Opening Bank Accounts?
What Is an EIN?
EIN is short for Employer Identification Number, which is a federal tax identification number for businesses with operations or reporting obligations in the United States. It is also an essential identification number for any domestic entity interested in opening a bank account in the United States.
How Do I Apply for an EIN?
To apply for an EIN, you will need to submit IRS Form SS-4 to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). In order to submit Form SS-4, you will need to collect specific details about your business and have certain personal information as the responsible party submitting the application.
The information required to complete the application for an EIN is straightforward for both resident individuals and foreign non-resident individuals of the United States. However, there are differences in how you can submit the form, depending on your residency status.
Individuals who have legal residence in the United States can choose from one of three methods, which include submitting the form online, by fax, or by mail. If you decide to apply online via the IRS website, you will be able to receive your EIN immediately after submitting your form. However, it is important to note that the system times out, so you will need to have all of the required information available to you prior to starting the application process.
Individuals who do not have legal residence in the United States will need to apply by telephone. To do so, you will need to contact a specific department of the IRS for EIN applications between 06:00 and 23:00 Eastern Time. Not surprisingly, you will need to have all of the information required for completing your application available to you prior to beginning the process.
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Frequently Asked Questions
Below are a few of the most common questions we receive from people looking into what an EIN is. If you have further questions you would like to ask our team, don’t hesitate to get in touch.
How Do I Find an Employer Identification Number?
If you have already submitted IRS Form SS-4 and received an Employer Identification Number from the IRS, you can submit IRS Form 147C, which allows you to require confirmation of your EIN directly with the Internal Revenue Service. The process is completed over the phone and will require you to have certain personal and business details available. You will then receive a fax with a letter confirming your EIN.
How Long Will It Take to Get an EIN?
How long it takes to get an EIN depends on the method that you are using to apply for an EIN. For example, if you are applying for an EIN as a US resident through the IRS website, you will be able to get an EIN immediately after completing the process. If you are a foreign non-resident applying for an EIN over the phone, you will also be able to receive your EIN immediately after completing the process.
What Is EIN Number Used For?
An EIN number is used primarily for tax filing purposes. However, it is also an essential identification number for US businesses looking to open bank accounts in the United States.
Is an EIN the Same as an SSN?
No, an EIN is not the same as an SSN. An EIN is an Employer Identification Number, which is a tax identification number for businesses operating in the US or with US reporting requirements. On the other hand, an SSN is a Social Security Number, which is a tax identification number for US citizens and certain foreign residents of the United States.
Does Everyone Need an EIN?
No, not everyone needs an EIN. In fact, an EIN is not for a person at all. Instead, an EIN is for a business with US operations and US reporting or tax filing requirements. With this in mind, only those businesses with US operations and US reporting requirements generally need to obtain an EIN.
Is Your EIN and LLC the Same Thing?
No, EIN and LLC are not the same thing. Instead, EIN refers to the tax identification number that would be assigned to your US LLC after submitting the completed Form SS-4 to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).
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